Bonus, yesterday was just 81 degrees in Fort Wayne, rather than the 106.7 on 2012's yesterday. This, despite appearances, is Time Machine, and this week, we get a new top dog, either a crapload (top 40) or a dearth ( hot 100) of debuts, why Sears is better than a music career, a cameo by the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame, who Susan Pesklevits is and what she has to do with little green apples- and how Alex Trebek figures in. You know it'll be fun with Alex along, so let's play
There are 14 songs debuting in the hot 100 this week, but I know just one (count 'em, one) of them. And that would be, coming in at 93, Conway Twitty's classic crossover, Hello, Darling. But, there's 4 debuts in the top 40 this week I didn't know either, so go figure.
Now, there were a buttload of songs that debuted this week in other years (AKA our birthday songs). Turning 30 this week are Crosby Stills and Nash's Wasted On The Way and Eddie Money's Think I'm In Love. Turning 35 we have Johnny Rivers' Swayin' To The Music (Slow Dancin'), The Floaters' Float On ("I'm Chris... I'm a Taurus...") , Ronnie Milsap's classic It Was Almost Like A Song- and, in a twist of irony considering last week's story on one-hit wonder Feather, the Sanford-Townsend Band's Smoke From A Distant Fire. Hitting 40 this week are Hot Buttered's instrumental Popcorn and Mac Davis' Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me. Turning 45 is Vanilla Fudge's take on You Keep Me Hanging On; Turning 50 are Little Eva's The Loco-Motion (c'mon, baby!), Sam Cooke's Bring It On Home To Me, and Neil Sedaka's original Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (which is another irony, because the Partridge Family's version turned 40 this week as well). Finally, Elvis' (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear turns the big double nickel. Blow out the candles...
Our look back act for this week was the ninth biggest act of the pre-rock era, the Peerless Quartet. Originally the Columbia (Records) Quartet, they were headed by an even bigger star, one that we've featured here before - Henry Burr. Henry started out as second tenor, but graduated to lead singer when original leader and manager Frank C. Stanley died from pleuresy in 1910. From 1904-28, the group registered 97 top 40s, 87 in the top ten, and 5 #1s, including versions of Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1911), Over There (1917), and a forerunner of the oft-mentioned BJ Thomas School, I Don't Knoiw Where I'm Going, But I'm On My Way (1918). In addition to Burr, who had 15 #1s of his own, they also boasted another featuree, Arthur Collins, who tallied 7 top dogs on his own. Collins joined in 1909, Burr in '06.
Not surprisingly, considering the timeline, our big mover is Crosby Stills Nash and Young with Ohio, up 21 spots to #55. Dropping the most is former top dog Cecilia, falling 37 notches to #69.
Our where are they now feature is Smith's What Am I Gonna Do? Now we mentioned Smith and lead singer Gayle McCormick way back in week 6 when their song Take A Look Around hit the top 40. Smith only did a couple albums before disappearing, and Gayle herself only did a handful of solo lps before deciding she'd had enough of the musical rat race. I have it on good authority that she moved to St. Louis several years back and has worked in the retail industry (most recently Sears) ever since. The only other member I found much about was guitarist Rich Cliburn, who was at last count living in Albany, NY, and more or less also out of the music biz. (Just as a reminder, their big hit was Baby It's You, a top 5 in 1969.)
Six songs bust into the top 40 this week. Sly and the Family Stone breach the 40 at the leadoff spot, up 4, with (I Want To Take You) Higher. Up 2 to 39 is a trio from Tampa (who would go on to greater fame in the disco era) called Faith, Hope, and Charity with a song called So Much Love. A Michigan band called Flaming Ember comes in at 38, up 4, with Westbound #9. They would go on to make the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 1999 (though Westbound was certainly not Rockabilly). Norman Greenbaum's follow-up to Spirit In The Sky, called Canned Ham (of all things) moves up 8 spots to #37. Mark Lindsay's Silver Bird also climbs 8 to #35. Abd at 32, the Fifth Dimension zooms up 20 spots with Laura Nyro's Save The Country.
A tip of the hat to our almost-but-not-quite entrants this week: freezing at 14 is the Four Tops' remake of It's All In The Game, the hit that Tommy Edwards took to #1 in 1951 and #8 in 1958.
And the Sandpipers drop from 13 to 31 with Come Saturday Morning, which is also this week's grandpa song at 17 weeks on the hot 100.
Two songs join the top ten, two drop out. The droppers are The Letter (5 to 12) and former top dog Everything Is Beautiful (8 to 21).
Climbing one to #10, Tony Burrows and White Plains with My Baby Loves Loving.
The Temptations climb a fast 8 notches to #9 with Ball Of Confusion.
Blues Image rides up one with Ride Captain Ride.
And that brings us to the return of Six Degrees.
Which Way You Going Billy? by the Poppy Family drops from 2 to 7. Susan Jacks, nee Pesklevitz, was a featured performer on the Canadian show Music Hop, a kind of Canuck American Bandstand, when she met (and briefly married) Terry Jacks and formed the Family( also briefly; Terry fired the other two members after the first lp, leaving the band basically him and Susan). Music Hop had debuted in 1963-4, and the first host was none other than a 23 year-old Alex Trebek. He lasted out the first year, and then went on to bigger and better things, one of which was a guest shot in 1988 on the show Mama's Family. (Yeah, I'm stre-e-e-etching this one pretty tight!) Mama's family, of course, starred Vicki Lawrence, who hit the top with The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia. That song (which was first offered to Cher, but Sonny turned it down WITHOUT telling her- uh-oh!) was written by Vicki's then-husband Bobby Russell. Bobby is known for his novelty hit Saturday Morning Confusion, but was better finacially compensated for Nights and a couple of his other songs- Honey (which Bobby Goldsboro took to #1) and Little Green Apples (which O.C. Smith took to #2).
Melanie, with the Edwin Hawkins Singers, move up a spot to #6 with Lay Down (Candles In The Rain).
Three Dog Night zaps up 5, from 10 to #5, with Mama Told Me (Not To Come).
Climbing from 6 to #4 is Vanity Faire's Hitchin' A Ride.
The Beatles begin their road to retirement as The Long And Winding Road, dropping from 1 to #3.
Rare Earth climbs a notch to the runner-up spot with Get Ready.
ANNNNND the new number one this week...
(Darn, I wanted to put pic of Susan Jacks or Gayle McCormick up- but I already did both not long ago, and I certainly don't want to be accused of voyeurism...)
That's all for this round. Be back Saturday (if you haven't melted) for the eighties countdown!